Since being appointed in December 2021, Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Becky Hammon has made headlines as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces. On Wednesday, the six-time WNBA All-Star secured her second consecutive WNBA championship as a head coach.
Before her role with the Aces, Hammon served as an assistant coach under the San Antonio Spurs’ longtime head coach, Gregg Popovich.
During her latest victory, the Spurs were in the middle of a preseason game at their home arena, the Frost Bank Center, while the Aces competed in Brooklyn, facing the New York Liberty in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals.
Popovich, despite his Spurs securing a 117-103 victory, couldn’t wait to leave the arena. However, he wasted no time in expressing his enthusiasm for Hammon’s achievement, stating to reporters,
“Ask them quick, I don’t have a whole lot of time. I gotta go celebrate.”
Popovich humorously shared his thoughts on potentially leaving early:
“I thought about getting booted tonight because it was exactly the same time, but I just thought this has to be my priority. But it was close. Congrats, Becky. Yeah, baby. Good stuff.”
Popovich continued to shower praise on Hammon, who had been an integral part of the Spurs as an assistant coach for eight years. He cited Hammon’s exceptional qualities:
“She’s special because she’s Becky, the same reasons why I hired her. She’s a competitive, competitive coach. She understands the game. She’s great with relationships. She suffers no fools. She’s fun to be around. What else could you ask?”
In Game 4, the Aces secured a narrow 70-69 victory over the Liberty, thus claiming their second consecutive WNBA championship under the capable leadership of Becky Hammon.